What is Citizen Science?

Citizen Science projects use information collected by volunteers of any age to help scientists with their research. Scientists around the world need help collecting data. This helps them understand changes in our environment and how these changes impact our plants, animals and other natural resources. Anyone can be a citizen scientist! Projects are available for nearly any topic of interest and level of ability.

Explore the links below to learn about how you can join the Arboretum in helping scientists.

Project eBird
    Contribute to science while enjoying a hike at the Arboretum or visiting the Bird Watching Station in the Nature Discovery room! Project eBird is an online checklist program used by thousands of bird enthusiasts. Simply sign up online, record the birds you see and hear, and report them online to Project eBird. Visit www.eBird.org to find out more.

Project Squirrel
  
Do you love watching these nutty critters? If so, participate in Project Squirrel. This project is great for all ages. Let Project Squirrel know anytime you see a squirrel at The Arboretum, at home, or at work. You can also share pictures and read participants squirrely stories. Click here to participate today!

Wildlife Watch

   Did you spot the fawn that visits outside the Nature Discovery room? Or spot a five lined skink in the Bonsai garden? Maybe you caught a glimpse of a snapping turtle in our pond! Let Wildlife Watch know what critters you were lucky enough to find during your visit at The Arboretum or what critters you have living near your home!

Great Backyard Bird Count
    
Participate in this annual event by counting birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the Great Backyard Bird Count. Great for beginners or experts, ages young to old! The 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count will take place Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17, 2014. Sign up to Participate online at: http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc. Join our educators Saturday morning on February 16th to help count birds at The Arboretum. Contact Luke Williamson, at lwilliamson@ncarboretum.org for more information.

The Great Sunflower Project
   
Help scientists learn about our pollinators, especially honey bees! Plant sunflowers in your garden at home, or visit the Children's Garden in the summer at The Arboretum and count how many bees visit sunflowers in 15 minutes. Visit http://www.greatsunflower.org/ to learn how you can help!

Nature's Notebook
   
Observe and record plant and animal lifecycles (also known as phenology), such as when the leaves change colors in the fall and when birds begin to migrate. Visit https://www.usanpn.org/natures_notebook to learn more or download the Nature's Notebook app to participate right from your cell phone!

Herpetological Monitoring

     If you are lucky you may spot some herpetofauna during your visit to The Arboretum. Herptofauna are the reptiles and amphibians that live in certain regions, such as eastern black rat snakes, box turtles, or spotted salamanders that live in Western North Carolina! Take a picture of any herpetofauna you come across and upload it to The Carolina Herp Atlas to help scientists
understand activity periods, habitat relationships, current distributions and other facets of amphibian and reptile ecology in the Carolinas so that we can better conserve these important components of our natural heritage. 

 

 Citizen Science efforts of The North Carolina Arboretum Society are supported in part by a Ribbon of Hope Grant from the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.